We’ve come a long way in the last few years. Looking through the old blog posts that deal with Hebrew, I see a lot of issues that used to be but are no longer. Here are four improvements.
- Text Direction – SMART Notebook 11 introduced the ability to switch text direction to be right-to-left. See http://www.teq.com/video/multiple-verses for an explanation of how text direction effects how we work with the text. In order to change the direction of the text, simply go to the Format menu and choose “Paragraph,” then “Direction,” then “Right to Left.”
- Mixed Language and Formatting – In a single text box, you can now type a combination of Hebrew and English and have some text bold or italics, some text different colors, and some even a totally different size! It used to be that any one of these formatting changes in a single text object or even simple punctuation would corrupt the text order.
- More fonts – Many teachers are still using the image capture tool to put Rashi text on the Notebook page. (Some are still using image capture for ALL Hebrew text! Oy vey!) Not necessary! Open Siddur Project has been around for years without a lot of people knowing about it, but you can go to the site and download a bunch of fonts that will work with Hebrew in Notebook, including Garton Rashi. Try it out.
- Virtual Keyboard – In SMART Notebook 11.3, SMART did away with the SMART Virtual Keyboard and replaced it with the Windows system On-Screen Keyboard. This was always available, but the keyboard button on the SMART Board was understandably linked to the SMART Virtual Keyboard. The difficulty with the SMART Virtual Keyboard was that characters in states other than the Base and Shift States were not visible. Now, when you want a student to type in Hebrew using the On-Screen Keyboard, it’s easy to get to and shows all the characters.